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Old 05-04-2015, 17:54   #16
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

bbrn4adv said
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The type of boat I would need for the 2 of us plus occasional friends, would be a Lagoon 380, owner's version.
not 49ft MarkJ ...

If I would have $700k on my account I would not wait a second ;-) ...

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Old 05-04-2015, 18:12   #17
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

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Yes, definitely, do it. You'll have a great time.

Being able to work remotely makes your financial situation wonderfully elastic and resilient. I think that's great. Aren't we computer nerds so fortunate in this era?

My only comment is that 'friends visiting' may be a lot rarer than you expect (and they say). Since it's so far away, especially from California, and people with jobs usually only blow a week a year on something like this. And, weirdly, everyone who visited us so far has insisted on spending at least a few days in a hotel. Which means, out of a week, they've sailed with us for only a few days.

This is a very personal decision, but we have a larger nest egg and a less expensive boat. We would have an even less expensive boat if we didn't have kids and planned to stay in the Caribbean. So, if I knew you and we were talking in person, I'd hint that you should look at lesser boats and see if you could still have a happy and comfortable lifestyle on it. Maybe look at the boat as a tool to enable experiences, and nothing more. Because there is a joy in having the boat be a little more 'flippant' -- not a large fraction of your net worth. Because sometimes your idea of what the most fun thing to be doing changes, and at that point, there is a freedom in not feeling so financially tied to the boat. What if in two years you decide you want to rent a house in Kyoto or Paris for a year, or travel by land in South America for two years-- isn't it nice to be able to just stash the boat in the mangroves or at anchor without worrying too much about it? Or you get to Malaysia and balk at crossing the Indian Ocean and rounding the Cape of Good Hope -- what a luxury to think "Screw it, I'll sell the boat here, as is where is, for half what I could get in America and backpack around Asia for six months"? Of course, everyone is different, so I am self conscious about saying this online.

Oh, and on a monthly budget -- my family of four averaged about $2k/month. That was completely comfortable. We are not extravagant people, but we aren't frugal, either. I feel like we did whatever sounded fun that day, without much regard for the cost. We sometimes stayed in marinas, rented cars (sometimes for months), and ate out often. That we like rural places, and spent weeks and months snorkeling off deserted beaches, dramatically lowered our average and balanced the time we spent in expensive islands.

This excludes all boat upgrades, because, to be honest, I am embarrassed by them and don't even want to try and add them up. I initiated a lot of completely frivolous and expensive projects.
It's gem posts like this that keep me coming back here.

So yeah, it's his ^^^^ fault
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Old 05-04-2015, 18:46   #18
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

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It's gem posts like this that keep me coming back here.

So yeah, it's his ^^^^ fault
Thank you, I feel loved.

But, seriously, trust MarkJ on the budget more than me. He's been doing it far longer. My anecdote of $2k/month doesn't include any boat maintenance or upgrades, which is substantial.
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Old 05-04-2015, 19:02   #19
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

Thank you everybody! I'm getting so many useful links to your blogs and learning a lot!

Monte, I come up with the 20K figure based on what I read in the doc linked by Motoman9 (thank you very much, dude):

(http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/costofcruising.pdf)

USD %
Provisions 4,851 39
Entertainment 2,187 21
Marina/mooring 1,475 12
Communication 996 8
Fuel 661 5
Officials/fees 687 6
Other 1,158 9
Total 12,414 100


To which I added:

USD %
Boat insurance 1,473 24
Boat maintenance 4,499 76
Total expenses 5,972 100


And I also added:

USD
Health insurance/care 2,180



Thank you also Msponer for your insights! 24K a year for a family of four is not bad!

Considering I would spend only 6 months on the boat, I would need around 10K plus $600 a month for storage, say $15K for the year. Plus airfare, say $4k. Still 20K to be conservative.

Now I have to decide where to live the rest of the year!
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Old 05-04-2015, 19:36   #20
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

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Me and my wife are in our mid 40s,

(...)

quitting our jobs, selling the house and live on a cat in the Caribbean for a few years.

(...)

How much money should I budget to leave on a boat in the Caribbean?
1. They call it mid-life crisis. It will pass.

2. Do not. Work summers charter winters.

3. As much as you have.

Life in the Caribbean, like anywhere, will cost you whatever your current lifestyle dictates. We tend to drag our lifestyles around.

Some can live in the West Indies for less than USD 500 per couple per month (boat costs included) and have a time of their lives. Others can spend 50k a day chartering a fine yacht, eating and drinking well and having a hell of a time too.

Those who can do with 500 could also do with 50k. But not the other way round. We tend to drag our lifestyles around...

Then again, if you can retire now and you are not likely to be forced back into workforce when this adventure fades, why not, do it now. Life IS short.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 05-04-2015, 20:25   #21
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

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1. They call it mid-life crisis. It will pass.
That's what I fear the most! That it will pass! The reason why I'm in this forum is the exact opposite!
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Old 05-04-2015, 21:08   #22
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

I expect you know this, of course, and everyone else, too, but I'll mention it: that a cloud costs nothing to look at, as doesn't the clear starry night (the sheer physics of it, and the mind-bogglingness that there is existence of Something at all), and that your eyes work, etc, and to see another person with their own life and joys and struggles, etc, etc, etc, and that you are still both alive, together, etc, etc, etc........

All the best. Good luck to you.
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Old 05-04-2015, 21:14   #23
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

A lot of folks don't realize that you cannot just up and go to a foreign country and "live there" as you may have read or seen in movies. Each country has rules and fees for the "privilege" of visiting their country for a limited period of time. Only if you plan on taking up legal residence can you stay on a country for an extended period of time.

For instance, in Grenada each stay is limited by the visa stamped in your passport and every year you have to leave and go to a different country before you can come back again. All of this is not a great problem, just a process you have to be aware of and follow along.

Of course, as a cruiser you would probably want to use the boat to visit other countries (islands) anyway each sailing season.

So that has to be factored into the costs of living in that you have to use the boat and go places, not just sit in one place. After 10 years in the Caribbean where we lived on our boat in a quite comfortable style we were spending about $2K to $3K a month. Others with smaller boats have done it for less but rarely have I seen anybody other than young "backpacker" style cruisers be able to do it for less than $1K to $1.5K per month. And they have small, extremely simple sailboats which did not require much upkeep and maintenance. Rule is, the less you have, the less you have to fix.
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Old 05-04-2015, 21:58   #24
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

Welcome brn4adv. I'll leave the wisdom-laden advice to those with more extensive experience. I just wanted to say that you're not alone. My wife and I are transitioning to full-timers, and we're in our late 40s/early 50s. From my perspective, your finances look enviable, so naturally I believe you can do it, although your choice of boat is an expensive one (from my perspective). A smaller, simpler boat would make it easier, but we all have to find our own comfort zones.

As barnakiel says, most of us carry our land lifestyle with us when we go to sea. If you are used to high-cost living, then you'll likely carry this on while cruising. If you're used to living simply and frugally, then an inexpensive cruising life will come more naturally. But you'll figure it out.

Mainly I just wanted to encourage you NOT to let it pass. Whether it's a mid-life crisis, or (more likely) a vision of clarity around what is really important, don't let it pass.

Hopefully we'll see you out there .
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:15   #25
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

Thanks for the encouraging words Mike! Regarding lifestyle, there's no way I can carry my present lifestyle in the Caribbean, even if I wanted to! It must be more frugal!

For example, here I spend about $18 a day for 2 cups of coffee and lunch at the office (socializing expenses, I guess). There are no stupid Starbucks of Peet's Coffee on the islands!

The other big expense in my life is my passion for motorcycles. I spend much of my free time, modifying, wrenching and riding my 3 motorcycles. There are no trails or tracks to be ridden on motorcycles on the islands!

What I think I would be doing in the Caribbean is: kiteboarding (the passion I share with my wife), sailing, snorkeling, swimming, fishing, reading and, of course, fixing the boat. I don't think I'll miss much the intelligent conversations under the fluorescent with my co-workers.

By the way, last time that I went cruising in the Caribbean, in 10 days I think I spent $150 for provisioning, about $80 for a great lobster's dinner, $10 for a night at a bar, and $30 for an AT&T data roaming plan... That's way less than what I spend here in a typical week here at home.

And yes, I know about the Visas... I'm an expat myself here in the US. But I think that being from the EU is an advantage in the Caribbean. I don't think I need a Visa to live on French territories... A EU passport would suffice...
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:48   #26
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

45 years old is young. in 20 years you will be 65 still young enough to go sailing. however once you leave your jobs and downsize to a boat it may not be so easy to come back when you are done with the caribbean dream. in fact it may be impossible. hard to believe but you will miss the starbucks and your work life when they are gone. just one man's opinion but either way it should not be a tough decision
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:07   #27
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

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Thanks for the encouraging words Mike! Regarding lifestyle, there's no way I can carry my present lifestyle in the Caribbean, even if I wanted to! It must be more frugal! . . .

. . . There are no stupid Starbucks of Peet's Coffee on the islands! . . .

The other big expense in my life is my passion for motorcycles. . . .

And yes, I know about the Visas... I'm an expat myself here in the US. But I think that being from the EU is an advantage in the Caribbean. I don't think I need a Visa to live on French territories... A EU passport would suffice...
Just a few "reality" corrections - Yes there are Starbucks and other similar places in the "Islands" - The islands are not all "National Geo" primitive places. Some of them are as modern and "up-to-date" as North America or Europe. And we found ourselves spending some considerable time visiting places like Martinique and Guadeloupe, etc., and even Trinidad for those "get back to modern civilization" experiences.

I have met several cruisers who took their motorcycles with them on their boats and used them on the islands.

Being E.U. you will definitely have a "smoother" time with the officials in the legacy European islands, but there are other islands, especially the more "primitive" ones where the officials could care less where you are from and mainly interested in how much money you are willing to spread around. To them you are only a "wallet" they can tap into . . .

Bottom line, almost anything is do-able with almost any budget. And there are C.F. threads for just about all of them that are worth scanning.

But I like potential cruisers to be able to maximize the positive experiences and minimize the negative ones so that they - overall - can share with us - previous island cruisers - the joys and incredible memories of your time and experiences in the islands. I would rather emphasize the stuff that makes that possible like attitude and expectations and leave the "nuts and bolts" information stuff like boats, equipment, etc. in the capable hands of other C.F. members.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:09   #28
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

Probably it would be useful to read this book "A Sail of Two Idiots: 100+ Lessons and Laughs from a Non-Sailor Who Quit the Rat Race, Took the Helm, and Sailed to a New Life in the Caribbean". I found it very interesting and informative.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:12   #29
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

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45 years old is young. in 20 years you will be 65 still young enough to go sailing.
Or: In 20 years you will be dead already for 19 years (of course do not wish that to happen!).

Do the things that can be done today today, not tomorrow, not in 10 years ...

My 1ct Bahamian Dollar :-)

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Old 06-04-2015, 09:30   #30
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Re: Quit your job and live on a boat in the Caribbean

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That's what I fear the most! That it will pass! The reason why I'm in this forum is the exact opposite!
There are forums where anorectic people meet up to support each other: they will tell each other how to eat even less, how to avoid seeing their condition as sickness, they will rebuke each other for being weak, fat pigs ...

I am real: avoid getting psychological and emotional feedback from people who are cultivating the same madness. Talk to specialists OUTSIDE of this circle. Ask your family, ask your land-based friends who have many children, many cars and huge mortgages. These may help. Here, you will hear whatever you want to hear. Like sell now go small but go now. Opinions from people with interests. How valid can they be to someone undergoing (as we agreed) a mid-life crisis?

Then again, I can tell you, if you are bang sure you will not have to slave to the Babylon ever again (lucky you, at such a young age) then you are free to do what you want, because you can always switch over to the next best thing, without any undesired consequences.

It is often misunderstood that long term cruising and sailing are technical or financial challenges. The point is, offshore and on the road, they are. But everything before and after is a pure psychology stuff and there are pills and support groups that treat just that.

Take care,
b.
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